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Monday, June 23, 2008

A History of Violence

****½ A History of Violence. Action/adventure.

Directed by: David Cronenberg.

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt

We rented this from Netflix.

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is a regular, ordinary family man. Until a pair of ruthless killers comes into his diner bent on causing trouble. Tom reacts... well... professionally--saves the waitress and himself and kills the bad guys with their own guns. The media calls Tom a hero, but he tries to play it off, saying he only did what anyone would do.

Nevertheless, his story--and his picture--makes the national news, and shortly thereafter, mobsters arrive in town, calling him "Joey", stalking him, and threatening his family.

As you might guess from the title, there's quite a lot of violence in this movie, some of it fairly graphic. It all serves the story, though, as do the sex scenes. The tension builds as the Stalls' comfortable life is torn apart, and both Tom and his wife (Maria Bello) have to deal with the abrupt change in their lives, and answer the question of who he really is--not just whether or not he's ex-mobster Joey Cusack, but whether a couple decades of being a gentle family man makes up for a "history of violence," and whether he's the same man he was before the events in the diner.

I docked it half a star because it was a little hard to believe that his fighting skills hadn't degraded in 20 years or so, but that's a small quibble. Otherwise, I was riveted. After watching it on Netflix, I bought my own copy, because I will be watching this again.

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I thought this movie was an interesting twist. It was lot of violence but it fix in with the story. Was it really 20 years about his fighting skills? That an awful long time to even remember the skills.
I love Viggo, but I could NOT get into this movie at all.
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